A treat on this release is vocalist Shana Morrison. This girl rocks and rolls with the best of them, wailing out her words with howls that immediately bring to mind Buddy Guy's unique vocal style. And these vocals are rich and sensual, imbued with feeling that's darkly primal and sexual. It's unfortunate that this powerful vocalist sings lead only in a duet with Rogers on "Stranger Blues" [listed on the cover as "I'm a Stranger Here"] originally recorded by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.
"Gertie Ruth" starts out with a very bluesy guitar break then quickly slips into a very Cajun sound complete with bayou-flavoured fiddle, almost like a Louisiana take on "Long Tall Sally." Shana Morrison powers this one up with some very gutsy backup vocals. The effect reflects less authentic Cajun folk music than the faux Cajun sounds created by Chuck Berry ("You Never Can Tell") or Hank Williams ("Jambalaya"), but with a tad more of that Rockabilly energy.
This release is an enhanced-CD. I usually enjoy getting an enhanced CD because of all the extra features it can be expected to offer. Placed in a CD player, it will play like any other CD. Put in a CD-ROM drive, the enhanced mode will kick in. On such releases, I've found extended liner notes, interesting biographical information on all players, extra mp3 tracks, videos, Internet links, and more. This CD is no such joy. Most enhanced-CD products offer the user the choice of using the enhanced section or not, and they do not install programs on the computer. This CD asks the user to install and then sign up for something called Bandlink before the bonus features can be accessed. This is more likely to turn-off than please listeners.
Even with its clunky computer enhancement, this CD, recorded live in the Big Room at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, would make an excellent addition to any collection of contemporary Blues artists or to the music library of any fan of the very best Rock & Roll music.
Those who may be interested can find additional information about Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings at "The Slide Zone" website. You can listen to some clips of Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings at the same website.
Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings
Chops Not Chaps Records